Supercharge Your Marketing:

Five Simple Marketing Principles That Every Business Owner Needs To Know

Emma Bowdler | The Women's Accountant

Emma Bowdler

I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality. 

While the world of small business can be unforgiving, and trying to ‘do it all’ is a slippery slope to burnout, the team at The Women’s Accountant has you covered with some simple marketing principles to help you generate more value for your customers and build the business of your dreams.

Anyone who has worked with women for as long as we have knows that us ladies have plenty of superpowers. We can run businesses, run households, and run the world – and we can sometimes even do it all at the same time. However, as wonderful as women are – unfortunately none of us has the ability to control the economy, the environment, the algorithms, or even those flyaway baby hairs, let alone a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Everything going on right now in our external world is making it hard to focus. So, it’s time to zero in on what we can control – and that is the internal workings of our businesses and how we take charge of or respond to the challenges before us.

As business owners, we know there are many things that can affect our business’ ability to operate profitably – so much so, that 60% of businesses fail within the first three years! However, with an understanding of some simple marketing concepts, we can start to get our business rolling again and give it the vital edge it needs not to end up as one of those statistics.

Here are our insights to help you save time, improve your bottom line and build the business of your dreams.

Successful Businesses Know Who They Are And Do It On Purpose

1. Successful Businesses Know Who They Are And Do It On Purpose

If you’ve come this far you probably know that your business model is viable…

No matter whether your business is large or small, success comes from really taking the time to truly understand your brand. The term ‘brand’ is often thrown around in business but rarely understood, because it can be hard to define and means different things to different people.

Far more than a logo, your brand is what people see, think and feel when they interact with you. It is an idea that lives in the minds of others, and that we try to control through ‘branding’ elements such as colours, fonts, language, tone, imagery, and content. Taking the time to unpack what makes your brand or your business unique is the first step to getting your marketing rolling. This is a fundamental principle known as your ‘unique value or selling proposition’ or UVP. Once you have a clearer idea of who you are and your position in the market, you’ll be ready to dive into the who, what, when, where, and how of your brand.

2. Do Your Research and There’ll Be Less Nasty Surprises

Conducting market research is often a daunting task for many small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be overly complex.You can complete some basic desktop research about your market (i.e. the environment you operate in) and identify the major trends, the amount of potential customers, and even start to understand pain-points and demand desires you may not have been aware of before. If you understand your brand, there are almost no wrong answers or bad data here. Limit yourself to a couple of hours so you don’t end up down any rabbit holes, and then take what you learn into the next marketing fundamental: successfully and strategically positioning your brand.

Do Your Research And There’ll Be Less Nasty Surprises
Position Your Brand Strategically Instead Of Trying To Be All Things To All People

3. Position Your Brand Strategically Instead Of Trying To Be All Things To All People

Every small business owner needs to be able to answer the question: why would a potential client or customer choose us over someone else? The answer to this question will shortcut you to more strategic positioning within your desired market. If this question is hard for you to answer, it might be time to complete a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.

Understanding what your competitors are doing well and not so well can help you identify where the gaps are and how you can fill them. For example, if your main competitor is not great at customer service, then this could be a potential competitive advantage for your business. If others in your industry are charging premium rates, finding ways to offer a product at a different price point might be a competitive advantage or point of difference.

Another element of your brand positioning to consider is customer journeys. Mapping how your potential customers find you, engage with you and hopefully fall in love with you, will help to inform future decision-making and product offerings.

3. Position Your Brand Strategically Instead Of Trying To Be All Things To All People

Every small business owner needs to be able to answer the question: why would a potential client or customer choose us over someone else? The answer to this question will shortcut you to more strategic positioning within your desired market. If this question is hard for you to answer, it might be time to complete a simple Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.

Understanding what your competitors are doing well and not so well can help you identify where the gaps are and how you can fill them. For example, if your main competitor is not great at customer service, then this could be a potential competitive advantage for your business. If others in your industry are charging premium rates, finding ways to offer a product at a different price point might be a competitive advantage or point of difference.

Another element of your brand positioning to consider is customer journeys. Mapping how your potential customers find you, engage with you and hopefully fall in love with you, will help to inform future decision-making and product offerings.

Position Your Brand Strategically Instead Of Trying To Be All Things To All People

4. Communicate With Your Audience In A Way That Shows You Truly Understand Them

By this stage you should have a solid understanding of your brand, your clients, your client’s needs, their potential pain-points, and how you are going to strategically stand out in the market. Now it’s time to communicate meaningfully and empathetically with your audience (and we don’t mean calling them up to chat about the latest Bachie episode, although maybe!).

Authentically communicating with your audience means creating a marketing mix that reaches and engages people, that fosters trust and that exchanges value. This can be done using the ‘7 Ps of marketing’: Place; Price; Promotion; People; Processes; Physical evidence; and Product. Don’t be scared off by the long list, as you have already covered some of the steps above, but to break it down – 5 of the 7 P’s are:

  • Place – where your products can be bought, seen, made or distributed.
  • Product – what you’re selling and why you’re selling it, including all the features and benefits customers can expect from your brand/product/service.
  • Processes – how you things get done and what processes must happen in what order for your customers/clients to get value.
  • People – all the people (including you) who make your business run so you can ensure that the right people are in the right places at the right time.
  • Physical evidence – the actual physical image and ‘branding’ of your brand/product/service such as colours, fonts and imagery. Remember, we want to create as much brand alignment and consistency as possible.

That only leaves two more elements: Price and Promotion.

These elements deserve a little more attention as they directly influence how you translate these principles into subsequent marketing strategies. For example, a marketing centred on digital or social platforms might not a business whose target audience is over the age of 70. While these might seem like obvious things to consider, it is easy to fall into the trap of just doing what others are doing rather than doing what is going to be effective for your business.

Communicate With Your Audience In A Way That Shows You Truly Understand Theme
Plan For The Long-Term To Help You Act In The Short-Term

5. Plan For The Long-Term To Help You Act In The Short-Term

To give your small business the edge you need to succeed, you need to be able to think and plan long-term. While this might seem like obvious advice, and the pandemic has thrown even the best laid plans out the window, without a decent long-term plan no business can truly achieve sustainable success.

There’s a Lewis Carroll quote that says: ‘if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,’ and the same can be applied to your business. We’re no Mad Hatters, so having a clear vision to work towards is important for motivation and morale, but it also helps you make everyday decisions and solve larger problems. Whether you plan in three, five or even 10 year increments, the most important thing is to get pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!) and have a good think about the future of your business and what success looks like to you and chart a path to get there.

When you’re busy wearing all the hats, popping on your marketing one can feel daunting. However, with these five simple marketing principles in your back pocket, the answers to your marketing woes all are already within your grasp. By taking the time to understand your brand, position it strategically and put the effort into building a community around your brand, you can unlock the key to long-term business success and sustainability.

5. Plan For The Long-Term To Help You Act In The Short-Term

To give your small business the edge you need to succeed, you need to be able to think and plan long-term. While this might seem like obvious advice, and the pandemic has thrown even the best laid plans out the window, without a decent long-term plan no business can truly achieve sustainable success.

There’s a Lewis Carroll quote that says: ‘if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,’ and the same can be applied to your business. We’re no Mad Hatters, so having a clear vision to work towards is important for motivation and morale, but it also helps you make everyday decisions and solve larger problems. Whether you plan in three, five or even 10 year increments, the most important thing is to get pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!) and have a good think about the future of your business and what success looks like to you and chart a path to get there.

When you’re busy wearing all the hats, popping on your marketing one can feel daunting. However, with these five simple marketing principles in your back pocket, the answers to your marketing woes all are already within your grasp. By taking the time to understand your brand, position it strategically and put the effort into building a community around your brand, you can unlock the key to long-term business success and sustainability.

Plan For The Long-Term To Help You Act In The Short-Term

If we can leave you with a parting principle to move the dial on your marketing activities, it would be to: measure and record everything, and be prepared to try different things – because while we can’t control the things that happen around us, we can control how we respond to them.

What marketing principles do you live by in your small business? We’d love to hear! Join the conversation in our Kick Arse Women Doing Business Facebook group or send us an email to: [email protected]

For more useful tips and tricks to get your business thriving, be sure to sign up for The Women’s Accountant Squad emails. They land once a fortnight and are jam-packed with goodness from our talented team!

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